East Rutherford, NJ — Kilmister extended his undefeated streak to four with a potent rally to win the $337,000 Peter Haughton Memorial, the first step on the unofficial “Road to the 2023 Hambletonian,” on Saturday afternoon (Aug. 6) at The Meadowlands.
The Haughton, for 2-year-old male trotters, provides an early clue — and establishes a long-range favorite — for next year’s trotting classic, contested over this same track. While it is a long 12-month journey to next year’s Hambletonian, a Haughton win is an early indication of class and talent.
Kilmister has displayed both in abundance. Starting from the rail, Kilmister and driver Brian Sears took a brief early lead before yielding to Carter Michael Deo, who in turn let Oh Well dictate the pace.
On a day when speed seemed golden, Sears let Kilmister bide his time in third before unleashing the colt in the lane. He surged to a four-length victory over stablemate Oh Well, giving Marcus Melander a one-two finish. Melander almost completed a clean sweep as his third entrant, Upstaged, finished third but was disqualified to fourth for a break in the lane.
“We could have been first, second and third,” Melander said. “They raced very well, all the horses. Sadly, one of them made a break right before the finish line.”
That was the only blemish on an otherwise sensational stable performance, topped by Kilmister, named for the late founder and lead singer of Motorhead.
Kilmister was a $170,000 purchase at Lexington last fall for Courant Inc.
“This one was quite expensive,” said Courant Inc.’s Anders Ström. “I like this horse’s attitude. He likes to chase them down. He never uses excess energy and I hope he has more energy to use in the future.”
A future that might include a return to The Meadowlands one year from now.
Kilmister trotted the mile in 1:53.3, paying $7.00 to win as the 5-2 second choice and giving Sears his sixth win in the Haughton.
Carter Michael Deo was elevated from fourth to third with the disqualification of Upstaged.